New Adult and me haven’t always seen eye to eye. While I see a lot of potential in the idea behind it, I’ve found most of the books haven’t matched up to that for me yet (with the possible exception of Easy which was great) so it was with trepidation and curiosity I requested an egalley of Losing It from Ebury at Random House UK, having been intrigued by it from the time it was first self-published in the US and then bought by publishers in both the US and here in UK.
Bliss is twenty-two. She’s a college student, has good friends and is perfectly normal. However when her friend finds out she’s a virgin, they want to take her to a club to meet a man. When she does meet someone good-looking, intelligent and who she gets on with she freaks out and ends up leaving him naked in her bed after the most transparent and awkward excuse she could have come up with. That’s bad enough, but just hours later she discovers he’s her new theatre professor.
Virginity is a topic often handled in YA and I think that could be really interesting in NA. I read an article a while ago where someone said that people often think of their first time in one of three ways: something to get over with as soon as possible, something to treasure, or something that will probably not be great but they know that. Often in YA, characters are virgins waiting for the right guy and the first time is magical and wonderful, but real life is often not at all like that. Not only that, but I was interesting in seeing how virginity would be handled in NA, especially with its reputation for sex filled ‘hot’ contemporary romance. I really liked that Bliss wasn’t a virgin because of religion or some deep trauma, but just because it hadn’t happened for her yet. That I think is true to many people and I haven’t seen it explored so much in literature.
While Losing It was a highly readable book and I think it handled the topic of losing one’s virginity well, I didn’t find Garrick the most amazing romantic interest. While certain scenes and moments with him were well done, I felt he was a little cliched and two-dimensional in places, especially with regards to him being British and some of the more forced Britishisms, like calling Bliss love. The romance itself was very cute to read and enjoyable. I also really liked the character development of Bliss and how she became more confident and self-assured as the book progressed in both her romantic, social and theatrical life.
The only thing that slightly pulled me out of the book was the epilogue. It felt too neat, too saccharine and for me didn’t work. That said, I think the majority of readers and NA fans will love the epilogue and this hasn’t put me off perhaps reading more of Carmack’s books in the future.
If you want a fun, realistic contemporary romance then I think you’ll love Losing It. Carmack wrote the humorous scenes really well and conveyed both the swoon factor and awkwardness found in falling for someone. I received a free egalley from Ebury/Random House on Netgalley for reviewing purposes, this does not affect or influence the honest opinions contained in my review.